Hand Photos By Terry Kilmer 020

Hand Farm

It’s a favorite snack of Martha Stewart, the Saratoga racing set, and the New York Yankees—and now, thanks to the help of OSI, the Hand melon will be around for many more years to come.

 “I thought about how I would feel seeing my farm and childhood home destroyed and I knew I had to conserve my land,” said third-generation farmer John Hand.   

The Hand Melon farm was started in 1908 by the great-grandfather of the current owner, John Hand. Its protection was a huge victory in a multi-year effort to preserve history, agriculture and the economy in one of the fastest-developing regions of the state.

A model farm

The farm, which participates in a number of industry, educational and research projects, is a model of responsible agricultural practice in the region.

Lying within view of the Saratoga battlefield across the Hudson River, the farm is also listed as a high conservation priority within the American Battlefield Protection Program.

“It’s imperative we in the Saratoga region act to preserve our agricultural legacy before it is gone forever,” said Teri Ptacek, executive director of the Agricultural Stewardship Association.

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